Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has affirmed that the expansion of the large-scale rice field model in the Mekong Delta region is on the right track, contributing to strong growth in regional localities, especially for farmers.

At a conference on rice and seafood production and consumption in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap on February 27, Hai asked ministries and departments to offer incentives and frequently meet with businesses to learn about their aspirations.

He suggested rice, shrimp and tra fish farmers pay attention to the scale of production and their prices to increase consumption.

During the 2012–2013 winter-spring harvest, 13 regional cities and provinces registered to join the large-scale field model with a total area of 71,000 hectares, up 40,000 hectares from last year’s summer-autumn crop.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to establish a rice raw materials area, export 1 million hectares of rice, and build a trademark for Vietnamese rice.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, trading firms bought 211,000 tonnes of rice for stockpile as of February 26 in compliance with the Prime Minister’s decision.

Last year, the region had over 595 hectares of shrimp farming, yielding more than 358,000 tonnes of produce. The total aquaculture area for tra farming hit over 5,900 hectares as of the late 2012 with an output of over 1.2 million tonnes.

This year, the tra fish sector plans to clear obstacles to boost regional output for sustainable development.-VNA